Wall's Week in ReviewPosted on November 25, 2013 by Jacob Raim
John Wall was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for his efforts in leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record over four games in five nights this past week. Wall was sensational in all four games, averaging 24.3 points, 8.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 2.8 steals per game while shooting .500 from the field, .880 from the free-throw line and .500 from three-point range. This marks the second time in his young career that Wall has won the award, getting it last March when he averaged 24 points, 11 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals over another four game stretch. Wall has been phenomenal all year thus far, but is always very quick to mention that he cares more about wins than numbers. This 3-1 week which saw the Wizards get back on track was an excellent example of his unselfish play.
All of Wall's talents were showcased this week, as twice he acted as the floor general and distributor and twice he played the role of electric scorer. During the first two games of the week, victories over the Timberwolves and Cavs, Wall was the distributor, averaging 13 assists including tying his career high of 16 against the Cavs. In those two games, he only turned the ball over four times, giving him over six assists for every turnover, and in the game against Minnesota the ratio was an astonishing 16:1. It's not that he didn't score at all in those two games, averaging 14.5 points, but it rather was his distribution that stole the show. Bradley Beal was the primary beneficiary, averaging 25.5 points over those two games, with a spectacular 8 for 10 from three point range. Much of this can be attributed, at least in part, to Wall's ability to get into the lane, draw defenders and find Beal for open looks.
The final two games of the week saw Wall explode for the first back-to-back 30-point efforts of his career. On Friday against the Raptors, Wall went for 37 points while shooting a magnificent 15/21 from the field. Wall's scoring explosion against Toronto came in the third quarter when the Wizards could not get anything going offensively and were trailing by double digits. Wall put the team on his back and just about single handedly closed the gap by scoring 18 points in that third quarter. In fact, the Wizards were actually ahead going into the fourth. In the game, Wall shot 100% from three point range, 55% on midrange jumpers and 88% in the paint. As Wall became more effective from the outside, he forced Lowry to change his defensive game plan on him and to commit to denying the jump shot. This in turn gave Lowry no chance at stopping Wall from getting to the hoop. If you look at Wall's shot distribution in the game, he had just one attempt in the paint in the first half, and seven in the second, while about half his attempts from outside the paint came in each half. Check out Wall's shot chart from the Raptors game:
The next game against New York was a similar story, as Wall scored 31 points on 10/18 shooting from the field. With the Wizards needing to come out fast to forget about the tough loss to the Raptors the night before, Wall once again carried the team early, opening the game 7/7 from the field and keeping them in the contest. In the second half, Wall allowed his teammates to pick up some of the slack, recognizing the fact that Marcin Gortat could not be controlled in the paint by the Knicks' bigs and feeding him the ball constantly.
It was a banner week for Wall, but it wasn't as though it came out of nowhere. Wall's game as a whole has really gone to another level this year. It can easily be seen just by looking at the numbers without even getting to the eye ball test, which is where Wall really shines with his speed and creativity. Wall is currently 25th in the league in scoring (6th among point guards), second in assists per game, fifth in steals per game, second in rebounding by a point guard, sixth in blocks by a point guard and even 23rd in the league in free throw percentage. These are obviously gaudy stats for Wall and the trajectory for him is on its way up.Posted in: Sports